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 Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)

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Mender Blake
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PostSubject: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:10 am

Running, always running. The lioness could never stop. If she did she would burst. Using her energy was the only way. Hot tears filled her eyes faster than she could blink them away, spilling down on her cheeks, some flying off behind her to land somewhere below on the pavement. Every time she slowed, this pressure would build in her chest, suffocating her until she ran faster. The ball would shrink, the pain would dull. The physical pain of her legs, burning from running so hard for so long, could not compare to the crushing weight within her chest. She would have to stop at some point, and when she did the pain would kill her - she just knew. As a doctor she knew it was impossible to die from a broken heart - in the emotional sense of the words. But the pain she felt, the illusion of suffocation would surely be her end. Death would be preferable to this pain, so why did she run from it? It was simple, human nature was to avoid anything that brought them harm or threatened death. True she was not human, but she was part human. All shifters were. As such they shared a number of human traits besides the physical appearance. The wide spectrum of emotions was both a beautiful and terrible experience. With it one could know what it is to love, to be loved, to feel the exaltation of a truly happy moment. Conversely, they could also feel pain, betrayal, hatred and anger. Anger was the worst of the human emotions. It acted as a precursor to hatred, it poisoned the mind leading one to unspeakable acts it lead to war. Blake had known too much anger and hatred in her life. She had known too much uncertainty. For once when things seemed certain, when life could not have been any better, there was a thin veil shielding her innocent eyes from the truth. In an instant the veil was shredded and torn, left in tatters at her feet while the scene behind upended everything she thought she knew.

Her bag bounced against her back with each pounding step. Inside she always carried a few important possessions she refused to part with, even for a few hours while she worked. It made her feel a little safer to know she had them with her. But rather than laying nestled in the small canvas backpack she'd arrived with, they tossed around in the brown handbag hanging over her shoulder. She still had the canvas pack, but for her current disguise, a basic handbag would be better suited for everyday use in the city. The residential homes of the new suburb just out of the city gave way to parks and stadiums, the buildings eventually turning into highrises. Streets lined with cafes and boutiques remained a nameless blur as she sped past. Doubtless she gained countless looks of concern and intrigue as nosy humans hoped too be privy to her private business. But she saw none of them. Her blurred vision could barely make out the street corners. Twice she was nearly hit, once by a little hatchback, the second by an SUV. She didn't stop for either of them. Their horns and words of abuse were but a small addition to the afternoon city din.

When she finally had to slow down, she didn't know where she was. This was a different part of town, away from the hotels and large shopping centres. Nor was it anywhere near the hospital. This street was lined with all kinds of entertainment. There was a cinema, smaller than the Theatre Grand, a little mall, a stationery store, and a bowling alley. In truth she was a mere few streets from the Borgias, but that was neither here nor there. Across the street the neon sign for a bowling alley called First Century Lanes was out, probably waiting for the sun to set, when it would illuminate the building facade. The grand stone steps at the front of the building were scattered with humans milling about. Barely breaking stride she altered course, pushing past some man in a black hoodie to cross the street, weaving between the traffic much to the annoyance to the disgruntled drivers. She sprinted up the steps, pushing through the door and ran past the reception desk. Shouts from one of the desk clerks attempted to bring her back, which were quickly cut off - presumably by the approach of a paying customer. The mender veered off to the right, the slamming of the bathroom door drowned out by the thunderous booms of bowling balls striking the perfectly polished lanes. She found herself facing the wall directly opposite the door, at which point she turned to the sink, staring as the mess of a face in the mirror. It was red and splotchy, eyes puffy from crying. The makeup she'd started to wear at the request of her betrayer was ruined: running mascara and streaks in her light layer of foundation, both courtesy of her salty tears. She turned her back to the wall, leaning against it and dropping her bag to the floor with a clatter. She slid her way down to the floor, heavy sobs not waiting for their leave to be heard. She half hid herself under the sink to her left, ignoring the people coming out of the stalls on her right. The ball of pain in her chest began to grow once more, each sob barely skimming off the top. The tears began to flow more freely now. What else was there to do but let it out?


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:02 am

No work today. But he needed to get back to the Shifter lands just to do a rudimentary check on the clan. Now was when he could relax before returning back to the Shifter lands. Not that he couldn’t relax in the Shifter lands but even the friendly sorts such as him needed some time alone to generally chill. And bowling was a good choice. He raised his arms above his head, intertwining his fingers together and arched his back in a well-needed stretch working out the kinks in his muscles. Rolling his shoulders, he swung one toned arm in a circle absent-mindedly and strode over to the bowling balls lined up on the machine beside him. Blue and green. Electric blue. And some with superhero icons printed on them. Niko’s hand hovered over the bowling balls slowly as he decided which one to choose. The one with the cool blue lightning bolts? Or the one that looked like green vomit? Or the one with the face of the Joker plastered over it? Or the one with the Green Arrow on it? So many choices. Which one, which one…eh. The Green Arrow never missed. Least, that’s how it was supposed to be in the movies. He put his fingers into the three holes at the top, gripping it tightly and lifting up the bowling ball, walked in front of the lane. He murmured,“And coming up to the plate, contestant Niko Santos hailing all the way from the mountainous isles of Persia. He steps up to the plate…lines up for the strike…” Niko took a few steps backwards, lifting the bowling ball to eye level and lined it up to the middle pin, aiming the ball directly at it and taking three steps forwards, swung it down the lane in the centre. It hit the middle pin, knocking out the rest of the pins on the side. He turned around, raising a clenched fist and drawing it back to his side in a fist pump and cheered, “Aaaaand he STRIKES on the first shot!” Spreading his arms out to the grand total of three in the vicinity, he placed one arm across his chest and with a flourish of his other arm, bowed.“Thank you very much!” He waved off the strange looks he received from the rest of the people in the area with a chuckle, “No need to applaud folks. It was just a lucky fluke.”

He strode back to the table and seats behind the machine that held bowling balls in a line. Niko dropped down into the seats, the shirt sliding back down over his upper body. He lounged in the seats with his jean-clad legs stretched out in front of him and leaned down with one hand to grab the bottle of Vodka Cruiser from the six-pack beside the seat he’d bought from outside. He needed something light to drink. He didn’t feel like stumbling around drunk in the early hours of the morning. The bottle cap was already loosened from when he had already opened it earlier and guzzled down the bottle to three quarters. Using his index finger and thumb he eased the bottle cap open, catching the cap as it tumbled down the side in between his thumb and index finger and held it against the glass firmly. Lifting the mouth of the bottle to his lips, he tilted it fully upwards to finish it. Alcohol rushed down his throat. Sweet but not warm. Refreshing though. Passion fruit. It was passion fruit. Niko dropped his arm to his side, holding the bottle loosely in his hand while staring ahead at the new bowling pins that were being put in place at the end of the bowling lane. Could he make another lucky strike? Well the alley wasn’t going to close for another hour or so. Niko started to stand, beginning to set the bottle down on the table in front of him when he heard shouts coming from the desk. He straightened, looking around for the source of the noise. He saw a familiar figure. Blake. She looked different. All made-up. But she looked like she was crying. Niko’s legs were moving before he even had time to think, forgetting about the bottle in his hand as he saw her. He had never seen her cry before. He heard a clatter and went in the direction of the sound, following it. She was inside the female bathroom, he thought. He could hear sobbing. He pushed open the door, bracing himself for the sound of angry screaming or yelling. There were a few women coming out who gave him weird looks and one told him to leave. He said, keeping at the doorway while looking for Blake desperately,"I'm looking for my girlfriend. She's got a problem with anxiety and she hasn't taken her pills. I can calm her down. She needs me." He didn't see her but he could hear her sobbing close by. Beneath him? The women were leaving but not before casting him suspicious looks just as he finally spotted her, half-hidden. He hesitated, not wanting to approach her in case she didn't want to be disturbed. After waiting a moment he took a couple of steps inside, closing the door behind him and started to kneel down, reaching out to touch her shoulder. "Blake? Why are you crying?"
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:02 pm

She could feel the heat flooding her cheeks, the crimson flush rushing to the surface with each sob. From sliding down the wall her knees were already arched to place her legs as a shield between herself and the world of judgement. Now slender arms wrapped around theme, hiding her face behind the wall, tears often trailing their way down her thigh. Beside her her bag had fallen open, leaving a disarray of her belongings scattered about her immediate vicinity. Her retractable Bo-staff - currently folded into its cylindrical travel position the length of two test tubes and about the same width. It was black in colour and appeared rather nondescript surrounded by the oddments of lipstick, tic-tacs, keys and pens. She paid them no mind, not really aware of the mess preceding her. The tiled lower half of the wall at her back had a cool, mildly soothing effect on her jarred emotions, the tiled floor beneath her quickly warming from her body heat. She leaned ever so slightly to her left, her temple resting against the curve of the basin. Her chest rose and fell in an erratically frantic motion, as if hyperventilating would quickly expell this building pressure within her. She heard a male voice at the door, probably the desk clerk attempting to get in and drag her from the venue or asking her to pay for something. She didn't care. They could do what they wanted, she was already broken.

What was it about her? Wasn't she good enough for him? Was that why he sought out others? Was she not good enough in bed? Maybe she hadn't been accomodating enough towards what he wanted. She had been away a lot, always working or fixing up the house in Monet Quarter. It was her own fault really. She'd driven him away and into the waiting arms of another. He deserved better than her, he needed someone who could understand him, his human ways. Someone to grow old with. That was always an underlying problem, one day he would be old and frail while she still held the visage of youth. He would die and she would endure. Maybe it was better this way. Better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. To have the experience, to know what it was to feel special and beautiful, to have someone truly value her. A shadow fell over her and a masculine voice called her by name. She looked up, eyes puffy and bloodshot. "Niko?" she sniffed and pulled her sleeve up past her wrist, using it to wipe away a small amount of filt from her face. She shook her head, "Nothing. It's nothing. I'm fine." Her voice caught in her throat, finishing her words with a sob before She started to cry once more. She hugged her knees to her chest, as if the gesture would mimic some form of closeness and comfort, so she'd feel less alone.


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:02 pm

Now that he was closer he could see her face was smudgy with some tear stains from her make-up on her face which was wet. He couldn’t really tell what it was but some of it had started to wash off. He could see her bag on the floor with an assortment of things scattered on the tiles and to his surprise, a cylindrical black stick-like item that was the size of two test tubes among all the items. He recognized it as a weapon of sorts. A type of staff. Did that have something to do with why she was crying? No that didn’t make sense. He kept his hand on her shoulder, seeing as it seemed to work to stop her from breathing so hard. He started to rub it slowly, then down and up her arm in the same manner. He had been told it helped. But sometimes things weren’t that easy. Something had upset her so much that she’d fled from whatever it was and by chance, ended up here at the alley. He didn’t know if this would help calm her down but it seemed she was already doing so. Niko did not know what kind of thoughts she had swirling around in her head. Should he ask? Or was it better not to? She seemed to stop hyperventilating but she had hugged her knees to her chest. Niko wasn’t sure what to make of that but he wanted to let her know that he was here for her.

He looked at her, unsure what to else to say. Of course he wanted to say something that had make her feel better but he didn’t know what the situation was. Usually people didn’t cry for no reason. Or ran into bowling places crying. And looking all dressed up like they were going to a party. Wait, a party. A date. Was it…? Niko’s expression froze. A thought trickled into his mind. One that made his stomach churn and started to make his eyebrows furrow and jaw clench slightly. Could it be? Had something happened? But no. It wouldn’t do any good. It was a horrible thought but he would wait to see what she would do before he said anything. He didn’t even know what had happened yet. But the more he looked at her, he couldn’t help but think that even though she was in this state she still looked amazing somehow. Even if her eyes were all puffy and bloodshot. It was a lot different from the white coat that he’d seen her dressed in at in the hospital or what she’d been wearing when he’d first met her. He nodded as she looked up at him, asking if it was him, “Yeah.” Then she started to cry again. He had nothing on him that she could use to help her. Unless she wanted a cleaning rag. He retracted his hand and took hers, starting to stand and gently started pulling her up from under the sink and said,“Okay. But You should get up from under the sink. It’s dirty under there.” He didn’t ask what happened. Not yet. He thought she was still fragile. It was better to let her get all her tears out before talking.
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:36 am

Her breaths came rough and shaky, almost hollow. It was like she was physically breathing, but there was no air reaching her lungs. The gentle hand on her shoulder helped calm her a little. She was so confused in herself. More than anything she wanted to be alone, away from anyone and everyone. She wanted to just curl up somewhere dark and far away, to hide herself until she thought maybe she could brave the sun again. But she still wanted Niko to stay. She wanted him to listen to her, tell her she was wrong and that Wesley was an idiot. She wanted to cry on his shoulder and feel comforted by his presence. It was selfish of her, she was selfish. Wesley hated her selfishness, that had to be it. She wasn't there for him, she was always focused on work or the renovation. The tears increased their onslaught, raking new tracks down her cheeks. Her leggings were starting to get smeared with makeup the more she hid her face against her knees to cry. She pulled back, sniffling as she looked at him. The moment she chose to actually look up at him was the instant a look of storm-like fury. Something he'd seen, or maybe something he'd thought of had made him extremely angry. He's angry with you, that little voice in her head said. He's angry you're being so weak. She shook her head in denial of the thoughts. He was her best friend, surely he'd forgive her this one moment of weakness. Never, you've been weak all your life. She bit her lip, attempting to blink away the salty liquid still seeping from her eyes. His warm hand found hers and the comfort released some of the tension in her chest. Like a bouncy-ball covered in layers of elastic bands and his hand capturing hers cut a few away. He stood, starting to pull her with him. She squeezed his hand unsure if she wanted him to sit with her or if she would stand and go with him. The broken woman deliberated for a moment, unsure. But she nodded eventually, using his leverage to slide the rest of the way out from under the sink and stand, whispering, "Okay,". She looked around her and saw the mess spilling from her bag. Wiping under her eyes she crouched to gather them back together. "Oh... Sorry... So sorry," She kept muttering. Each time Blake took a step to grasp an item the heels of her boots clacked on the tiled floor. The last item clutched in her hand was the black bo-staff. It was hastily stuffed into the bottom of the bag before she rose and stepped towards her guardian. Eyes glistening with moisture, her voice cracking, she begged him, 'Would- would you stay with me?" She sniffled again, knowing she must look an ungodly sight.

The Outfit


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:27 am

He had never heard her breathe so hard before. It sounded so painful and he hated that the most. Not being able to do anything except to just let her ride it out. He wished he knew what she wanted. To be left alone? But then she would’ve pushed him away instead of letting him stay with his hand on her shoulder. Then did she want him to stay anyway? When he let his anger pass he realized that more tears had started to stream down her face staining her leggings. She had been hurt bad. When she finally looked up at him, he saw her bite her lip. Had she thought he was mad at her for crying? Or for seeing her like this? He caressed her thumb with his carefully, letting his eyes soften to show her that he didn’t feel that way. Everyone had their moments of weakness. People couldn’t be strong all the time and even the strongest individual needed someone to lean on at some point in their lives. There was no shame in this. He knew she was strong. Stronger than she even knew herself. How could someone who has never been hurt understand what it was like to be strong? It took the bravest of hearts to give themselves to another being knowing they could crush it without mercy. So she would come out stronger. He had pushed that horrible thought towards the back of his mind. Her clothes weren’t ripped apart. The grey top thing and the pants. And the shirt underneath. Least, he thought she was wearing a shirt underneath. He wasn't sure what to call it. And her hair wasn’t messy. It was unlikely that she’d been raped. Which left one conclusion. He almost tightened his grip but remembered not to at the same time as he was holding her hand. He felt her squeeze his hand instead. He faltered, looking at her to see if she preferred to sit under the sink. If that was what she wanted he wouldn’t stop her. But he really thought it was better for her to come out so she wasn’t going to get bacteria or germs. He was relieved and didn’t let go of her hand until she was completely out from under there. He knew he should’ve let go but he couldn’t for a short moment and only did when she crouched down to gather her items from the floor so that she could do it easier without being unbalanced with holding his hand.

He smiled slightly at her,“Don’t be.” He started to get down to help her gather her things but she did it herself so he straightened, waiting for her to finish. He cast a glance down at her heels as he heard them clacking on the bathroom floor and took her hand again. Just in case her heels caught on the tiles as she was walking or something. He’d seen that happen before. Not because someone was clumsy but because bathroom tiles had those tiny grooves or indents in them at the border of each tile. And accidents could happen. He made a mental note to ask her about the staff later. It was another curious thing that he could learn about her. As she stepped towards him, he reached out to cup her cheek with the palm of his hand taking in the curves of her face and the disheveled locks of dark brown with his eyes. He didn’t say anything for a moment for he was taking in her features. He had never seen her features this close before and never with make-up on. He could feel the contours of her jaw, see the plumpness of her lips and could remember those lips turning upwards into an enormous bright smile with blinding white teeth along with her eyes smiling as well, like pools of striking blue. Even with all the ruined make-up, he could still see her. See the energetic, caring woman with a sense of humour he’d started to see at Monet Quarters underneath all of it. Part of his fingers were in her hair and he stroked it tenderly, pushing away the first fluttering of thoughts in his mind. She just needed him to stay with her. He wrapped his hand around her hand again, nodding,“Sure.” He gestured to the door,“But we should stay away from the door so it doesn’t hit us.”
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:38 pm

What was going through his head while she suffered this turmoil? Was he nosy like all humans, desperate to know what was happening? Or was he subdued like an animal, sensing her upset and just wanting to be there to make it better? Dogs were particularly good at this. They'd nuzzle their way over their way into your heart, be silly and loveable until you were smiling again. Cats were colder, more calculating, they only gave affection when it benefitted them. Which was Niko? She thought he could be a dog, despite his feline form. He had that sort of kind, caring face of one who just wanted the best for those he cared for. She took a moment first to scour through her bag for makeup wipes or tissues, coming up empty. Clack, clack, clack. Blake crossed to a cubicle, unrolling some toilet paper and tearing it away. Clack, clack, clack. Returning to the tap she ran the rough paper under the water, using it to remove the majority of her ruined makeup. Her harsh movements with the coarse tissue left her face even redder than the crying. The more the makeup disappeared, the more she returned to the person Niko knew - at least on the outside. She still let out a sob every now and then as her thoughts rushed too fast and became too mean to deal with. Four wads of paper it took to remove her ruined mask. It stripped away the placid doll she'd appeared as for the Lieutenant and left an ugly, broken mess. The Mender turned back to her guardian to see if he had left her yet.

He took her hand again, so gentle and warm. She never wanted to let it go. It was familiar and comfortable and after having such a large piece of her life turned on hits head, she craved the typical, the predictable. She watched the planes of his face while she waited for an answer. His angular jawline and messy curls were the most prominent of his features, though there were others. The strange, almost golden colour of his eyes, the little creases in his forehead - evidence of both worry and laughter. Before responding he took her face in his hand, just cupping her cheek and looking at her. His movements were so tender, so gentle. She was both comforted and repulsed. Though his light caresses were lovely, they reminded her of how Wesley used to touch her. How he could sit with his arm around her waist or kiss her with such passion. She was so certain she knew the thoughts going through his mind, What did I get into? I should just leave her here while I have the chance. Even though she knew him better than that, her mind was so certain of her own worthlessness, she believed others were convinced of it long ago. It was easy to lie and conceal ones true feelings out of necessity. They were clansmen, they had to get along in order to survive. He probably just wanted to avoid a stupid conflict, so he kept his silence. But surprisingly enough he agreed to stay. She nodded, smiling just a little in spite of herself. She took a few steps away from the row of sinks, crossing to the farthest wall from the door, nestled between the basins and the line of cubicles. Clack, clack, clack. She slid her way to the floor once more, though more to the centre of the wall and away from the dirty underside of the plumbing. Beautiful blue eyes looked up at her friend, her free hand patted the floor next to her. "Sit with me? Please? I-I can't- I can't go out there," She said. Blake wasn't ready to go outside, to see the world with its sun and happiness while she was so dark and dead inside. Her hand squeezed his, tugging him gently to sit by her side. There was still a warm wetness under her eyes, reminiscent of the fresh tears to have escaped their prison without her notice. She tried to wipe them away and sniffed. "I guess you're wondering why I'm such a mess?" Her voice had grown deep and scratchy from the crying, it was obvious there was more to come. "You knew about Wesley. We, um... We're finished. It's over between us." Her voice hitched on the last word, though she had begun weeping a few words earlier. Her head bowed in sadness and shame, eyes closing out the world.


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:04 pm

He was confused. Very confused about this situation. This was unfamiliar territory for him. And he was confused at himself for staying when he probably should’ve just waited outside for her to gather her composure. He did want to stay just to make sure she was okay and he had never felt that way about anyone ever before. But really, he was sure he wouldn’t have stayed inside the female bathroom for anyone else of his own free will. It was the female bathroom after all. He didn’t really know what she was thinking. All he knew was that she was upset. All he knew was that she was asking him to stay and she needed him to do so. He tried not to think of it as anything more than that. It couldn’t be. They were friends…best friends, or something like that. He wasn’t that sure. She was probably still shaken. He took a step towards her as he heard the clacking of her black heels across the floor echo throughout the area. Clack, clack, clack. She was getting some toilet paper to use to wash her face free and soon, the make-up started to disappear. There she was. The real Blake. The one Niko had met in the quarters and seen at the hospital. Without the black make-up streaming down her face. He hadn’t left. No. She was crying. That was all. Why would he run away? He knew that she was just feeling upset and reacting. He just had to try not to say anything stupid to make her even more upset and just be with her. He guessed he had helped. He thought. She didn’t react much when he touched her but she didn’t move away. He couldn’t really figure it out. But she eventually smiled a little. A good sign, he supposed. He moved with her as she headed to the farthest wall, his hand still wrapped around hers. She was at a spot between the basins and cubicles and slid down to sit down, inadvertently starting to pull him down as well and asked him to sit with her, stammering slightly. He felt her tug his hand gently to get him to sit at his side. He eased down into a sitting position beside her, jean-clad legs bent slightly with his back pressed against the cool tiles of the wall and glanced at her, words on the tip of his tongue.

But he wasn’t sure if she’d appreciate a humourous remark at the moment so he remained as he was. Without words. He did not let go of her hand, idly stroking her thumb. Little hand, big hand. He was thinking of a lot of things. If any of the women had gone to the clerk to tell him about his being here and if he was going to be forcibly removed by security. Where she’d been. The turtle with the scratched shell he’d seen swimming in the river. How good she looked in this outfit now. Why his stomach felt like it was twisting. But that question of why she was this way right now was at the forefront at his mind. The most important question. He looked at her as she spoke again and said,“Yeah.” He realized he still had the bottle in his hand. It hadn’t been even that much enough to make him remotely drunk but he could still feel warmth spread through his body. He set the bottle in front of her. She could drink it if it helped. Then she said those fateful words. We’re finished He stared at her, not saying anything for a long moment. He was surprised. She had seemed happy. Incredibly so. But apparently things hadn’t been so good. He said, "Just forget him. You don't need him.” He nudged the bottle with a foot towards her and said,"You need good old booze. Booze will never let you down. Especially passion fruit." He paused, the gears in his mind shifting,“But what happened? He didn’t force you to do anything did he?”
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:42 am

There they sat, side by side in the girls bathroom of a bowling alley. Such a scandalous tale to tell. Years later they might remember it as 'the day they spent in the girls bathroom', maybe they'd smile at the memory. Whomever they mentioned it to could think what they wanted - that wasn't her thought or concern for the moment. But maybe they wouldn't even know each other then. The paths of their lives, currently crossing, oft times parallel, could easily part. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,' she thought, remembering an old poem. From this point in time their lives could go absolutely anywhere. They could meet anyone, experience anything, it wasn't entirely up to them. She could make whatever choices she wanted, analyse everything to the fullest extent she could, and her life would end up exactly where it was supposed to. She could believe herself to be making the morally correct decision and the ramifications of that choice would echo for eons. Or perhaps she wanted to change things and so take a less-common route, but she would be where she needed to be. 'Then took the other just as fair... because it was grassy and wanted wear.' All at once her choices made no difference and all the difference in the world. A choice to leave the house a little earlier one day could mean she avoided being in some accident, saving her friends and family the grief of her loss. And yet she was always going to leave early and never be in that accident. There's no considering the ifs and might haves were she to choose to leave at her normal time. It is neither here nor there. She left when she left and that cannot be changed. 'Though as for that the passing there, had worn them really about the same.'

Things were quiet, almost tense as they were both lost in their own thoughts. No sounds were heard of patrons attempting to enter the bathroom, nor dissent from staff concerning their predicament. Social norms dictated she should feel uncomfortable in the presence of an eligible male so soon after the conclusion of her relationship. But she wasn't. There was nothing like that with them. They were close friends, they relied on one another for comfort and support. She took up the bottle of orange-coloured liquid, barely missing any. She hadn't noticed it on him but was strangely glad for it. Blake brought the sweet concoction up to her lips, downing it quickly. There was no bitter taste, no disgusting aftertaste of alcohol, just the sugary fruit-drink that disguised it. Lolly water. The Mender rested the bottle on her knee, using her grip of the neck to spin it around and read the information on the back. Hardly any alcohol content, mostly a party drink. It was the sort where one or two would do nothing, but finish a case of four or six and they'd hit your hard after an hour. Her little pink tongue slipped out to lick her lips and taste once more the delightful flavour while she set the glass bottle down beside her. "No, I was willing enough. You wanna know what it was?" She took a deep breath, though this only served to place her more on edge. Before she could speak the words, the images took pride of place in the forefront of her mind. The sounds that had drifted down to her as she made her way up the stairs. The beautiful blonde woman in bed with Wesley. His harsh words, how he said he never loved her. Her feelings of betrayal and anger, the pain in her chest. It started once more, the ball of pressure. This triggered the tears to overflow as she continued to speak. "He was cheating on me with another woman. She was so beautiful, so much better than me." She sobbed, leaning over to rest her head on his shoulder while she cried. "He said he never loved me," She said a little quieter. "I was just his toy." She sniffed. Then, barely audible, "His submissive little kitten." Her pain flowed freely in the form of tears, punctuated by quiet sobs, muffled somewhat more by the material of Nikos shirt. She couldn't help it. She was hurting. She'd made a choice to be with Wesley, knowing it could end badly. 'Two roads diverged in a wood and I- I took the one less travelled by.' She wouldn't be in this position today if she'd never gone to Astridax. 'And that has made all the difference.'


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:54 am

The road less travelled was a road fraught with risk and uncertainty but it was what it was. And just as with anything else, there could be good things that came out of it and bad things. It was normal to want to try something new and usually, Niko’s only concern would’ve been her safety. Well, he had to be concerned about everyone’s safety in the clan but he thought about hers a lot more. But she wasn’t like some kid that couldn’t do anything on her own and didn’t understand the ramifications or outcomes of those choices. She understood the connection between choices and outcomes, whatever they may be and picked one. He thought it hopefully came from a good place. It was just that the choice with this Wesley had been the wrong one. As Niko continued to look at her, he realized he still didn’t know what she was thinking really. He was already as close as he could be to her but he still didn’t know that much about her. Not even what her feline form was. But from the moment they had met, he had known that he’d felt something though the realization didn’t come until now. But he could meet anyone else just as she could. He hadn’t been looking for anyone but he had no say in what he felt. Just like he had no say in needing to breathe oxygen to survive. He just knew. He hoped that they’d still know each other in the future because he liked being around her. Not when she was unhappy obviously because he didn’t like seeing her unhappy but liked it when she was her normal self again. But he didn’t really know what she thought. He supposed he’d just stay like this until she started to become okay again. He forced a smile as she took the bottle, drinking it and finishing it,“I have more outside. That is, if no one’s stolen the bottles.”

His gaze travelled down to the tiled floor, at his left sneaker as she started to speak. It was a tale he’d heard before. But he’d never felt this way before when he’d heard it. A weird, empty feeling of his heart clenching. He was feeling pain. He moved slightly as he felt her head on his shoulder, startled. On instinct, he felt his muscles lock up but when he heard her sob he loosened them, shifting slightly to turn a bit so that he was facing her. As she spoke, revealing the pieces of the puzzle he needed to know he mulled it over in his mind. He felt her tears wet the sleeve of his shirt but he paid it no mind. When he finally spoke, it was low and steady,“You took a chance and it didn’t work out. It’ll be okay.” He nudged her foot and wiggled his which was next to hers.“See? My foot says it’ll be okay and my foot’s always right because it has the powers of omnipotence. It also says you can do better.” He flipped his foot up and down a couple of times at the joint that connected the foot to the ankle, putting on a voice that was deep and gravelly, like that of a rugged old sea captain that had drank way too much alcohol,“And it also says you are a cute kitten who is not a toy. Yaaar!”[/color]
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:46 am

How could two people be so close and yet so apart? These two friends sat huddled on the floor of a bathroom, as physically close as two people could be. Yet it seemed as though they were both on different pages in this story. Apparently he'd skipped ahead a few chapters and knew things she didn't, which was why he could be so happy and upbeat about all this. He could hold her hand and let her cry all they wanted but neither of them knew what the other was thinking. So far in her story had been bouts of misery punctuated with bland filler pages. For the chapters ahead she could only see things becoming worse. Her mother had been killed, check. Her father had had her imprisoned, check. Stolen from her cell and made a prisoner of war, check. Nearly two years of torture at the hands of her fathers enemies, double check. 75 years of running and hiding, tedious. Finding a clan lead by a feline, terrifying. Falling in love with a human, bad idea. Having her heart broken by said human, told you it was a bad idea. What came next? Probably losing her job at the hospital. Maybe being demoted from Mender, exiled if the Regina was feeling especially spiteful. Years ahead of more running and hiding. She would be hated by every member of her own kind, but she'd never really belong in the human world. She'd probably turn into some kind of hermit, living on a mountain, all alone. She'd die there, huddled in a cave... Alone... There would be little moments along the way of course, the tiniest of pinpricks to give her a molecule of hope before the universe reminded her how worthless she was. Niko might be there, for a time, but he, like everyone else, would leave. He'd find some beautiful leopard-girl, fall in love and run off to have cute little leopard cubs. She'd be alone. Even now she felt alone, despite being beside her best friend. She felt like no one could understand how she felt, how utterly crushed she was. This pressure in her chest kept building each time she stayed silent, so she'd speak a little more. "Yeah," she said tiredly, thinking about the alcohol, "Sounds good." He tried so hard to be funny, to make her smile. And, if she was honest, she did - just a little. But how could he not get it? Wes had cheated on her! He'd, told her he loved her, taken her virginity and gone straight to someone else. Oh god! Her virginity! She'd thrown it away on that human. Her lower lip quivered, her face grew hot and the tears started fresh. Blake turned her head into his shoulder, the pressure in her forehead both painful and distracting. The headache she was giving herself helped ebb the flow of harsh thoughts. But her virginity! How could she have done this? She was broken. She pressed her forehead harder into his shoulder, squeezing her eyes shut and gritting her teeth. She wanted to scream at him, "He took me for everything I had! He stole the one precious thing I'd managed to hold onto! I've lost my family, my home, my childhood, but I still had that! Why can't you understand that?" But she didn't, she could only sob. She cried for a long time, hating herself for crying. When the sobs weren't enough, she had to ask herself, "Why am I so weak? Why did I have to be so useless?" She sniffed, unable to stop the word-vomit. "Why am I not good enough for anyone?"


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:58 am

He paused, stopping when he realized he wasn't making her feel better and leaned over, wrapping his arms around her sides around her back and put his head on top hers, stroking her back and said softly as he could feel the tears rolling down her cheeks, "I'm sorry. I'm being stupid right? Stupid Niko who's being stupid saying dumb things." He mentally kicked himself. He shouldn't have said anything. He didn't know what she wanted him to do. He knew what she was feeling and he wasn't happy. He was just trying to put on a happy face. Inside, he was mad but he was holding it. He got it. She'd been used. Someone who she'd put her heart in had lied to her and taken something from her just to get what he wanted and moved on without a care for her. He'd crushed her heart. And now she felt like she wasn't worth anything. And Niko would tear the guy's face off the next time he saw him. The more he thought about it the more he felt his hands start to turn into fists again but he just wanted her to feel better. Wouldn't she be scared if he started punching things? He thought she had wanted him to stay and sit with her. He pulled back slightly, brushing aside some hair from her eyes tenderly and looked at her, eye-brows furrowing. Is that what she really thought? He started to stand, the corners of his eyes tight with growing anger and let go of her unconsciously, his hand forming a fist. He'd break every bone in that snake's body.

He muttered, glancing back at her and shook his head, "Don't ever say that. You're not weak. You're not useless. Don't ever let anyone make you believe that. Remember the canaries? I bet they don't think you're useless. They're probably waiting for you right now. And I don't think you're useless either. You helped me get better at the hospital. I remember it. You helped me calm down. I would've gone crazy without you there. And you're the only one in our clan that knows what to do if everyone gets injured or ill. No one else can do that. Not to mention, you are a doctor of a hospital and you use your knowledge of healing and medicine to help make people get better and not get sick. You have to take care of a lot of patients and their lives are in your hands. It takes a special kind of person to really care about that many people and be able to face them day in, day out without breaking down when you have to tell them bad news or when you have to face them and see how much they're hurting. And when they get angry at you when you're just trying to help them. Or when they don't want any help and they threaten you with violence or yell at you or snap at you. That's far from useless or weak. And you are good enough. You're good enough for you and that's all that should matter."
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Sun Mar 08, 2015 7:09 pm

She continued to cry into his shoulder. Somewhere in the recesses of her mind she felt terrible about ruining his shirt like this. But the thought wasn't strong enough to to find its way to voice. Through tears and a shaky voice she looked up. Another thought wound its way about the laneways within: It's not your fault, how could you possibly understand? But again, it was never heard. There were so many thoughts she wanted to express, and each one was held back. No matter what she might believe, no matter how much her words might help the situation, she couldn't bring herself to say them. Her head was throbbing from all the crying, an unfortunate side-effect of expressing her emotions in this manner. In response her forehead continued to apply pressure to his shoulder in some wild attempt to push it away. It was like substituting the external pain - one she could control - for the internal ache - which she could not. With her eyes closed to the world, her other senses became more prominent. She could feel his grip on her hand loosen so his arms could go around her. His hands curled into fists where they rested against her skin. Then he was gone, standing, pulling away from her. With his presence gone she felt the cold of the times even through her layers, but she curled against them. He tried so hard to convince her of what she was worth, that she mattered to people but she just couldn't see it. The canaries could survive without her, they only stuck around because she gave them an easy meal. As for her patients, there were other doctors and nurses to care for them, they didn't really need her. And him... he'd find someone else to be his friend. Someone better than her. Someone who wasn't so messed up and useless. He'd find himself a girl to be not only his best friend, but his lover. Someone who could give him everything he deserved. She didn't deserve a friend like him. She didn't deserve a friend at all. She was replaceable. She pulled her legs in closer to her body, whimpering softly. "I'm- I'm so... I don't know what I am anymore..." She mumbled. Lost for words, she felt she had to say something in response. The hurt was so fresh, barely hours old. She would need time to move on from this.


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:52 am

He had stood up without thinking. He kept on wondering what she was thinking but now he had some clue. She was feeling like she was nothing. He realized he had felt her apply pressure to his shoulder. He guessed it was an attempt to make her head stop hurting from the crying. But at the same time, it felt like she was trying to push him away as well. He sat down beside her again, enveloping his arms around her shoulders and bent his head down so that part of his face was pressed against the side of her face in the crook of her shoulder. He just held her and even if she tried to move away, he’d hold her closer, tighter so that she’d fit like a glove in his arms and he feel and hear her sobs start to fade away and the tears had stopped flowing. He had never heard her whimper before and he never wanted to hear it again. It scared him. He whispered into her ear,"You're Blake. You're an awesome vet and you’re just starting out now at the hospital but you’re going to be awesome and you're like a ray of sunshine in a night that's filled with nothing but thunderstorms and lightning. You're fun and you're outgoing. You're also full of surprises. You've got a big heart so people try to take advantage of that and that’s their mistake. You're the best thing that this clan has got. The closest thing to an angel that I’ve ever seen in my life. And no one can replace an angel. Especially a door-kicking angel with a beating heart. Just tell me what you’re thinking because I don’t even know if what I’m saying is just making you even more upset. I don’t want to see you like this.” He shifted in place, putting one leg around the front of her legs while the other one kind of slanted, bending at the knee to make it easier for the both of them and said,[color-#00ffff]“Come on, Amazon Warrior. Let it all out. Just let it out.”[/color]
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:25 am

So quickly, as though realising a mistake was made and had to be rectified, Niko was back on the ground pulling her away from the wall and into his arms. He sat almost behind her, his arms a warm vice around her shoulders, his head resting on her shoulder. She curled to the side a little, her legs still close, protecting her body, but she also wrapped her arms around his torso. The grip of her hug would strengthen each time a particularly harsh wave of emotion gripped her. It was her way of warding off the unwanted feeling, by substituting it with something physical and comforting. Her head would lower to rest more on his chest, but his face still sat alongside hers, almost as if his head were protecting hers. Sweet, dulcet tones whispered kind words into her ear, words she could appreciate the beauty of, even if they were spoken about her. Her body shook intensely with each sob while tears would slowly fill the gaps between them. She couldn't make her tears stop, but she appreciated what he was trying to say. And in a way it was good of him to admit he didn't know what he was doing, it made him seem more real. For someone to assume they knew the remedy to her ailment, they would have already lost her. He would make a good doctor, he listened to his patients and gave them what they needed. Between the saddening sobs and the wet tears whe managed to whisper back a, "Thank you." Before she dissolved into tears once more. The thought of her virginity still loomed. It had never been something she'd really considered loosing. As an adolescent, like any other, she'd been curious as to the mechanics and what it would feel like. But, she'd never really given the act much thought, it was never a priority. She was always so focused on her identity, her job, her next town, it was impossible to keep any sort of stable relationship. She'd never really wanted one before anyway. There had been offers, but she'd turned them down without a second thought. And she wasn't so inclined as to be party to a one night stand. It wasn't her style. And that was what had hurt, her relationship with Wesley had really just been one painfully long one night stand to him. Her feelings, her virginity had meant nothing to her. When you lose your virginity, you can't ever go back. She clutched him more tightly around the middle, sobbing once before she did let out what she was feeling. "It-it just h-hurts because he was my first, you know? I'd never... and he seemed like the right person. Loving and gentle and caring... but it meant nothing to him. I was just his toy, an object for his amusement. I gave him the one precious thing I could really offer a man and it meant nothing to him. He just t-traded me for the next girl, and she was so much better than I was. The sounds he was making with her, I'd never heard... but, I still can't... he just took it..." There were times when she stammered, where the grief became too much to the point where she had to let out a cry before continuing.


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:19 am

He felt her arms go around his torso, mildly surprised but awkwardly started to pat her back with his hand. His spine straightened slightly as a reflexive action when her hug tightened every so often, not expecting it but accepted it all the same. He just remained as he was. Though he did not know why she was doing it, he did not ask at the moment waiting to see what she’d answer. If he had to guess, it’d be that it helped her somehow with her pain. He waited for her to say something, feeling her body shake with each sob. He felt it shake against his chest, in his arms, against his legs and feel her tears drip onto his skin as she started again. He let her ride it out, staying silent for a long moment. He could make out something that she was whispering, barely audible but there. Thank you. Least that’s what he thought she was whispering. He murmured,“Don’t sweat it.” Then she started to cry again. Did what he had said help? He didn’t know. She was still crying. But he didn’t think was the kind of thing he could help her with by using words. It was a feeling he hated. Powerless. And somewhere, in the deepest recesses of his mind, if he were to be truthful to himself, he hated the idea that she had been taken in that way for reasons that were far too confusing for him right now. Far too many strange, conflicting emotions were swirling around in his mind. He had been furious and upset at the same time. And now there was this weird tightening of his stomach. He listened to what she was saying but his heart and head were saying two different things. Niko considered his words before speaking, slowly,“It means he never liked you.” He paused and a couple of other thoughts entered his mind. Did he like her? Niko stared at the opposite wall. Damn it feelings.
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:51 am

Blake nodded against his chest. "I know that now," She said weakly. "I just wish I could go back..." She mused, letting the thought speak for itself. She knew it was impossible, but at times like these, such thoughts were inescapable. She did wish she could go back. She wanted to save herself all that time, all this hurt. And it wasn't just the time with him she'd be saving, it was the recovery time, all the weeks or even months she'd spend brooding over her lost love and the things she could've done to fix their relationship. But for nought, they were only the wishful thoughts of a heartbroken girl.  They sat in their huddle silently for a few minutes, the bathroom empty of any girls in need of relief. Any girls that may have been in there when she'd flown in had quickly exited with Nikos arrival. But the swing of the door was unmistakeable in the silence. In shuffled a hunchbacked old lady, closely followed by, presumably, her grandson and granddaughter. The girl looked to be about six or seven, the boy about three. The woman inhaled sharply, looking down at the two with disdain. "You two should be ashamed of yourselves." She hissed. It didn't take a genius to figure out what she thought they were up to. Blake turned her head slowly to glare at the woman standing just inside the doorway. Upon seeing her face, the young boy hid behind his elder sister, evidently afraid. "I think you're the one who should be ashamed," she said with a strength not previously heard. "You know nothing and have no right to make assumptions based upon a first impression." The woman appeared taken aback by Blakes rather rude rebuttal. "Excuse me young lady but you'd be wise to respect your elders. You and your boyfriend have absolutely no business... canoodling in this manner in a public restroom where children are liable to be present." Blake scoffed, rolling her eyes before standing. Perhaps you should heed your own advice, she thought towards the woman. Although, by the look of her there couldn't be more than a few years difference between them. She was rather sprightly for such an old woman. "I have no desire to start something here, but you'd be wise to leave us alone. Do your business and go." Her hands balled into fists at her sides, her voice hard as steel. The woman huffed before ushering each child into a cubicle, urging them to be quick. The young boy did quite well for his age. They emerged, washed their hands and were ushered to the door. Before the woman could leave Blake hailed her. "A word to the wise... teach that boy to be respectful of women, and the girl to be strong and wise. They'll benefit greatly from the lesson." The woman nodded, but added bitterly, "If only your parents had elected to do the same." Before letting the door swing back into its place, leaving the two felines alone once more. That hurt.


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:50 pm

It was just the two of them in here. Nothing but them. He preferred it that way, strangely enough. And it was only now that he noticed how different the bathrooms were. And how cleaner they were. Relatively. Niko started to stroke her back, a sub-conscious action. He didn’t really know why he was doing it. He thought it might’ve helped. He wanted it to help. Then he heard the door open again. He started to let Blake go, bracing himself for the inevitable scream, screams or shouting but was instead greeted with the sound of someone speaking in a proper, articulate manner. As Blake turned her head, he turned his as well wide-eyed and confused. Part of it wasn’t an act. He realized what it looked like. And it wasn’t. And even if it was, here was not the place he’d want to do it in. But he didn’t want to be caught out by someone doing what it looked what they were doing. And yet he didn’t fully remove his arms from her, enjoying being like this. With her. In the female bathroom. And wanting to make sure she was okay. When he saw who it was his eyes grew even wider, feeling sheepish. It was an old lady with two kids. She inhaled, looking at them and hissed at them about being ashamed of themselves. Niko started to smile, extremely slowly and awkwardly. Niko pulled back, head leaving her shoulder and looked from her to the lady as they began to exchange heated words. He rubbed the back of his neck, keeping silent but he was both surprised and pleased at Blake's words. He didn't know she had it in her. As she started to stand up, he followed suit looking at a spot past the elderly woman at the tiled wall. Canoodling? He coughed, trying not to laugh and kept a straight face. He hadn’t heard that word for a long time. He nudged the empty bottle of vodka cruiser behind him with a foot. The woman left with the kids, speaking something about her parents electing to do the same. Niko could feel that one but he didn’t let it show. He had no parents. But what of Blake? He looked at her. She looked hurt. He said,“Hey don’t worry about her. Her opinion doesn’t matter. She doesn’t know anything about you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:00 am

Blake stood there in a state almost akin to that of shock. Such a simple, biting phrase had her floored in seconds. And old human woman with just as much, if not less life experience than her had said something so spot on it was unbelievable. Parents... How she would've loved to speak with her mother. Denala would have held her while she cried and brushed her hair while she chastised her for being with a human in the first place. She would've done what any good mum would have done. Her father would've been furious at her for giving herself to such a worthless being, but all the same would have threatened to take his best felines in a hunting party to kill the bastard. Boromir would've lead the party alongside their father, she knew, he would've like that responsibility. Instead, Blake could only take care of herself. She had no mother anymore, her father was either dead or still out hunting for her. Her brother... well, Boromir would probably have challenged their father by now. He'd be the King of the Felines in the south. That left only two options for her father: alive, living as his sons prisoner; or the more likely, dead. She shouldn't care, she knew she shouldn't, but the pull of home was too tempting. It was the first thing she'd ever known, it was everything she'd been taught. Familiarity was a tricky friend. She leaned back on her friend for support, placing her hands on her chest while she breathed deeply. "I know," she said. But she was so spot on, she finished. Her eyes were closed for a time while she simply breathed the calm back into her system. "Come on," she said, crouching to retrieve her bag. Upon standing, she turned to face him. "I've had enough of this place and we shouldn't stay here." The Mender took his hand as if to lead him. "Let's go home" She said, striding out the door.

(Ooc - shall we end it there? Feel free to reply. He can grab his cruisers and stuff if he wants But I reckon we can move forward now.)


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PostSubject: Re: Crying in the Bathroom (Niko)   Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:57 am

A thought struck him as he continued to look at her, concerned. A thought that would make her behavior when they had first met on their initial encounter make sense. Her nervousness. Her hyperawareness. Her keeping her guard up and her apprehension with him and Jagara. He knew everyone had rough pasts. Hidden secrets. Was she truly all alone? He could relate if she was. Or did she have a bad relationship with her parents and what the old lady had said had set off something inside her? Was that why she had been so hurt? He understood it was probably a sensitive issue so he didn’t push for any answers. He bent down slightly to take the bottle as she turned to face him, making his mind to take up the pack of bottles he’d left outside. At the same time, he was left in quiet amazement at what had taken place. Blake was full of surprises. And he knew she had something in her. Something made of steel and she’d showed a hint of that tonight. He followed her out as she took his hand, glad to leave the bathroom and take the remaining alcohol and go home. He didn’t think it was hygienic sitting on that floor and he didn’t want Blake to get some kind of weird viral disease. Who knew what had been on the floor? But he had to chuckle at the old lady’s words and Blake’s responses. Canoodling. He squeezed Blake's hand again, just to let her know that he was there for her.

(Yeah we can end it here and move forwards)
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